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Title

Max Dupain

1939
printed 1992


Artist

Olive Cotton

Australia

11 Jul 1911 - 27 Sep 2003


About

Cotton shot this portrait of fellow Australian photographer, Max Dupain during their brief marriage at their home in Longueville on Sydney’s lower north shore. Dupain is captured affectionately in the portrait, represented as at once casual through pose and, as industrious on account of his rolled up sleeves and the Rolleiflex TLR camera which hangs from his neck. It is indicative of the combination of a working and personal relationship Cotton and Dupain shared during the late 1930s when they operated a commercial studio together. The couple separated in 1941 but Cotton went on to manage the Dupain Studio while Max was away serving as a camouflage officer during the Second World War 1.
Cotton grew up in the northern Sydney suburb of Hornsby, the eldest of five children. She was gifted a Kodak No 0 Brownie camera by an aunt at the age of eleven, igniting her life-long passion with photography. Cotton completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney with majors in Mathematic and English 1934. She defied her father’s wishes upon graduating and pursued a career in photography joining her childhood friend, Max Dupain’s studio at 24 Bond St, Sydney. Cotton continued to practice photography, alongside working as a teacher, after relocating from Sydney to the rural NSW district of Cowra in 1946 2. Her work has been exhibited extensively during her lifetime and posthumously, notably at the London Salon of Photography in 1935 and 1937 and with major retrospectives at the National Library of Australia and the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000.
1. Ennis H 2005, ‘Olive Cotton: photographer’, National Library of Australia, p 6
2. Annear J 2015, ‘The photograph and Australia’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney p 275


Details


Dates

1939
printed 1992


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


Dimensions

28.3 x 23.1 cm image; 40.5 x 32.9 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed l.r. sheet, pencil "Olive Cotton". Dated l.l. sheet, pencil "...1939/92".


Credit

Gift of Olive McInerney (Cotton) 1993


Location

Not on display


Accession number

18.1993


Artist information

Olive Cotton

Works in the collection

24


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Helen Ennis, Olive Cotton, Sydney, 2000. cat.no. 37

Robert McFarlane, Critic's Choice, Sydney, 1994.